Discover How to Identify Your Customer’s Needs in Technical Sales

Know Your Customer, or KYC is a term often used in sales. Regardless of industry, businesses must know their customer as much as they can and develop solutions to meeting customer needs. However, you need to know how to identify your customer’s needs first.

Importance of Being Customer Focused

Establish a customer-centric mindset. This will shape your sales strategy and ensure that everything you do has the customer’s needs in mind. Once you identify what your ideal client needs or wants, work on meeting those needs. In technical sales, you need to know your target buyer’s pain points and problems.

Furthermore, this gives you a better understanding of the buying process’s motivation. In technical sales, customer needs translate to the buying organization’s requirements. They are the needs of the key decision-maker and the problems that your product or service can solve.

How to Identify Your Customer Needs

There are several methods to identify your customer’s needs. The first way is to use your customer data and database. You can learn a lot about your customer based on their transactions with you.

What equipment did they purchase?

When did they buy it?

How often did they are buying it?

The answers to these questions are already part of the sales information in your possession and easily accessible.

Pro Tip: Before you look elsewhere, study the customer information you have in your hands.

Questions to Ask to Uncover Customer Needs

A more specific way to identify your customer’s needs is to collect customer feedback. Conduct a survey or make a call to your current clients. To get a deeper understanding of what they are looking for when it comes to your products or services.


“How did you learn about us?”

“What made you interested in our products?”

“What are your current priorities?”

These all help paint a picture of what your customer needs. Don’t be afraid to ask them point-blank, “What are the most important needs of your organization at this time?” Having this type of conversation with the decision-maker will give you many valuable insights that you can use while creating your sales strategy.

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Conducting Industry Research

Market research is another way to learn about customer needs. This often takes a look at the big picture. There is readily available industry information online.

For example, let’s say your organization is selling hydraulics for farm equipment, and you want to learn more about the North American market for tractors specifically.

The website gives free general information about the market. If you want to read more detailed information, you can pay to upgrade your report. Sites such as these provide a good start on learning more about who your potential customers are and their needs.

Social Listening

Another relatively new way to learn about customer needs is through social listening. This involves monitoring social media platforms to hear comments and reviews about your organization. Social listening has two steps:

Watch and monitor social media channels for mentions about your product, keywords related to the brand, competitors, company, and brand.

Once you find helpful information, analyze it and respond to it. You or your team can do something as simple as making sure all positive reviews are thanked, and negative reviews are addressed.

Additionally, social listening provides insight on how customers see you. It may not be as easy as listening in on Twitter for technical sales. However, there are still opportunities to learn about what customers think of you online. It might be product reviews on a website or brand mentions in Linked In articles.

Competitor Analysis

Another essential thing to learn from social listening is customer sentiment about your competitors. Besides just listening and watching how your brand does on social media, you can also listen to what people say about your competitors.

Their comments give you important insight into what is working for them and possibly applying this to your business. Tracking competitor websites and blogs can also be part of social listening.

Benefits of Identifying Customer Needs

In technical sales, it’s important to remember the multiple buying levels within one organization that you will deal with. Each of these decision-makers has their own needs.

For example, needs could include cost savings or meeting a new product launch deadline. It could also be on an individual level, such as the needs of the key decision-maker.

The key is to balance all these needs and see which has the best outcome for all those involved. If you can fulfill the needs of all customers, there is a good chance of having a successful sale.

Predict Customer Behavior

Knowing your customer’s needs impacts sales and revenues directly. When you identify what customer wants and needs, you will then have the ability to predict customer behavior better. In turn, this allows you to create a more customized solution.

Provide Better Customer Experience

More importantly, once you’ve identified your customer’s needs or wants, you can provide a better customer experience. When customers experience satisfaction, they often recommend those brands to other people.

In technical sales, when customers are satisfied, long-term relationships are established. You as a supplier are kept on the preferred list, resulting in repeat business. As a technical sales engineer, your role is to continue to meet the need, provide a solution, and exceed expectations.

With over 15 years of experience, we don’t just teach “theory.” We provide actionable lessons so you can see results tomorrow by providing you with all the tools you need to not only significantly increase your personal income but become a top performer at any company. If you are ready to take your technical sales career to the next level or are eager to make a career change, then click here to take the next step towards success with Technical Sales University.